The Denver Broncos veteran players reported for training camp this past Tuesday. This year's reporting process is unique, as each player showed up to the facility only to be tested and then turned away.
Each player has to take an initial COVID-19 test, then quarantine for three days. Following that three-day process, the player returns for one more COVID-19 test, and is asked to self-isolate one more day. The second test result is known within 24 hours and that player, if both tests were negative, can be admitted into the UC Health Training Center.
From then on out, players are tested daily. For two days, there was no report of a Bronco testing positive or being placed on the COVID-19 reserve list...
..until late Thursday. KUSA's Mike Klis broke the news.
Did Beck show up on Tuesday and test positive? Was he exposed to someone between days that was COVID-19 symptomatic? Klis provided some context.
"To be clear, Beck went to reserve COVID-19 list during pre-entry process. Unclear if he tested positive or was exposed to someone on outside with virus. He has not been inside Broncos headquarter facilities," Klis tweeted.
Per the newly amended CBA, NFL clubs are not permitted to disclose whether a player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19. So we might not ever know whether Beck actually tested positive or if he was simply exposed to an infected person.
Beck will go into quarantine. He'll be back in a couple of weeks, at which point, he'll have to hope to quickly make up whatever ground the time away costs him.
It's a less-than-ideal development for a bubble player like Beck. Beck arrived in Denver as a waiver claim on the doorstep of last season. He would go on to appear in all 16 games with six starts (two at TE, four at FB).
But with the logjam at tight end currently, and the Broncos hiring of Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator, who doesn't use many multiple-TE sets on the field, Beck needed every rep and exposure possible to make a bid for the roster.
Entering his second year, he's a versatile player, capable of not only playing two positions on offense but also contributing on special teams. NFL clubs often find a place for such utility men. Only time will tell what the future holds for him.
For now, that makes one player since the Broncos training camp report dates to land on the COVID-19 reserve list, although LB Von Miller and DB Kareem Jackson both had the virus earlier in the offseason.
Here's to hoping Beck is the only one but it's unlikely. NFL teams simply have to be ready and able to roll with the COVID-19 punches this year.